- Posted August 2, 2014 by
What is Prostatitis
Prostatitis is a fairly common disease. It causes inflammation and pain in the prostate gland, which is an important part of the male reproductive system. The prostate gland lies just below the bladder and is similar in size and shape to a walnut. Its main purpose is to produce ejaculatory fluid.
There are a few different types of prostatitis. The least common type is acute bacterial prostatitis. This type is always caused by bacteria that cause an infection. It produces typical symptoms, so it’s usually easy to diagnose. Acute bacterial prostatitis is a severe urinary tract infection often accompanied by fever and chills. It can affect men of any age, but it often occurs in middle-aged to older men.
Bacterial infection can also cause chronic bacterial prostatitis. This condition is associated with frequent recurring urinary tract infections, the symptoms are less pronounced and there is rarely a fever. This illness is more common in younger men.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome, also referred to as nonbacterial prostatitis and prostatodynia, are the most common types of prostatitis. The exact cause of these conditions is unknown, but they may occur because of persistent infections, chronic inflammation or because of muscle spasms. Inflammation can also occur in the prostate without producing any symptoms.
Causes of prostatitis
Bacteria enter the prostate when infected urine flows backward into the prostate ducts by way of the urethra. Bacterial prostatitis is not a sexually transmitted disease. It’s not contagious and sexual partners cannot transmit or catch the infection.
Some medical procedures and certain conditions increase the risk for developing infection. For example, a catheter or another type of instrument being inserted into the urethra increases the chance of infection. Abnormalities of the urinary tract and recent bladder infections also increase the risk of bacterial prostatitis.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome can be caused by pathogens like chlamydia, which might be transmitted through sexual activity. It might also be caused by the body’s response to injury. The nerves and muscles in the pelvic area cause pain in response to infection or inflammation or as a specific problem.
Symptoms of prostatitis
The symptoms of prostatitis depend on the cause. In acute bacterial prostatitis, the symptoms come on suddenly and are severe. Typical signs include fever, chills and burning on urination.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis produces similar symptoms, but fever is not usually present. The symptoms are usually not as severe. Urination is frequent, especially at night. Bladder and low back pain are common as well as perineal and testicular tenderness and painful ejaculation. The symptoms come and go with exacerbations and remissions.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome is characterized by symptoms very similar to chronic bacterial prostatitis and it can be difficult to distinguish the two. Symptoms of chronic pelvic pain syndrome include difficulty urinating and sometimes urination is also painful. Other symptoms may include pain in the bladder, testicles, penis and perineum and painful ejaculation.
Since treatment is different for the various types of prostatitis, it’s important to determine the correct diagnosis. It’s also imperative to make sure symptoms are not caused by other conditions. The physician may use several types of tests to make an accurate diagnosis.
Digital rectal examination
PSA lab test
Your physician may also refer you to a urologist.
Treatment of prostatitis
The treatment varies, depending on the type of prostatitis that is diagnosed. To treat acute bacterial prostatitis, antibiotics are prescribed. This may include intravenous antibiotics given in the hospital.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is also treated with antibiotics, but for a longer period of time. In rare cases, surgery might be recommended to repair any anatomical problem that may be contributing to recurrent infections.
Treatment of chronic pelvic pain syndrome is sometimes treated with antibiotics, but not in every case. Depending on symptoms, other treatments may also be used such as anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, prostatic massage or alpha-blockers. Biofeedback and relaxation therapy may also help to relieve symptoms.